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The donation of a second Kia Sorento to the Order of Malta has widened the palliative care and medical services network provided throughout East Timor (Timor-Leste) by the world’s oldest Catholic Charity.

Kia Motors Australia provided the Order with a diesel all-wheel drive Sorento earlier this year and last week added a second car to the program after reports on how successful the original assistance had been in extending medical help outside the towns.

“It is the perfect car for this purpose and this generous support from Kia will help the Order to reach many more people in need,” the Order of Malta’s first Ambassador to Timor-Leste, H.E. David Scarf, said.

“There are 13 districts in Timor-Leste accessed by a very poor road system, some taking six or seven hours to reach. Now, with the use of the car a trained palliative care nurse is able to visit many more patients, together with the nuns, and provide them with proper care and the necessary medication.”

Kia Motors Australia President and CEO, Mr MK Kim said the donation of a second car to the Order of Malta was simply and correct decision to take.

“The original car has quickly proven its worth in humanitarian terms,” Mr Kim said. “To be able to offer further support to the wonderful care being provided by the nurses and the counsellors is something Kia is pleased and proud to be able to do.”

Mr Kim said that while a significant portion of East Timor’s one million residents are still trying to rebuild after decades of hardship, it is through organisations such as the Order of Malta and their supporters that the future can be brightened.

The Order of Malta was established in 1048 when the Knights Hospitaller protected sick, poor and injured pilgrims travelling to the Holy Land. Today the organisation is still known for its mission “to service the poor and the suffering” by providing services and facilities to support the sick, elderly, the handicapped and those who are marginalised and homeless.

The Order now operates in more than 120 countries across five continents. Worldwide there are more than 12,500 members, 80,000 permanent volunteers and 20,000 medical personnel.